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I have a chromatic, Hohner Chromatica 270. I bought it when struggling to bend the notes on my diatonic harps - I had only two then. A phenomenal growth has followed.
I have heard rumours that you can bend on chromatic but haven't tried it. I just haven't got the hang of memorising the note placements or the slide movements. I'm sure if I gave it more time I would, but I much prefer the glissando effect of bending - essential sliding up and down with continuous tone.
Don't worry about your puff, playing wil improve your lung capacity so much. I have more puff than most people in my concert band (I play trumpet as well) and that all comes from playing the harp.
Welcome aboard. Whatever you do with the harmonica, do something you enjoy, just to get used to playing it. The rest will come.
I'm happy you've decided to follow you dream again and found a way to circumvent you arthritis.
I do hope you continue with the harmonica, even sporadically. So often during the first few months of learning I found myself questioning why I was doing it, but then once I got to bending it all clicked.
But, I think music is so much based in practise that you do need to be fully committed. Good luck.
New member from Devon , U.K. I have neen wanting to play the harp since I can remember but never got round to it. Now the grey hairs are showing, I have decided to give it a go having just been given a Suzuki pro master v. in C. Ho p e I have enough puff!!
Well, I've made a decision. I've been playing the harmonica for a month or so now and making a bit of progress, I have a good half dozen campfire tunes under my belt and have started bending notes to play a more bluesy style; but sadly, my heart is just not in it I really miss my stringed instruments. Last week I performed as a dancer at The Big Appalachian Festival in Durham, UK, and came into contact with a dulcimer player. It was watching her play that I realised that both the mountain dulcimer and the hammered dulcimer can be played without stress on the fingers, so I'm going to give them both a try and hopefully find something that I feel at home with.
Don't worry, I'm not leaving completely; I'll still drop in from time to time and will still carry a harp in the glove box for those idle moments.
Thanks for all the encouragement
No biggie, I play chromatic too, I own 7 of them. I just think that there may be
others like yourselves who aren't, for whatever reasons, into bending (yet).
You might get more response by starting a separate thread pertaining to the
chromatic. I had the foresight years ago to purchase harmonica repair tools
from a company long since past. I would talk on the phone to the owner of
the company concerning repairs and how to use his tools. Mr. Farrell was
primary a vendor leaning toward the chromatic crowd, but when us diatonic
guys needed help, or a harmonica, he was there. He used to tell me, "If you
can't repair your harmonicas, you can't afford to play them". He was referring
hello from mexico! this is a great place to start your journey or to keep on the right path!
Dexer, in case of my Saxony I faced this sort of valve sticking problem twice in last four months. You are absolutely correct that diatonic harps are almost maintenance free. But, the tone of chromatic? Just splendid!!!
Reed, sorry! You are right, we are discussing off the topic......Swapan
This thread seems to have gone off topic, as there isn't much room for Bending Notes on a chromatic.
I guess it depends on where and how you intend to play. If you're a bullet guy and end somewhere with and opportunity but not your own mic it could be awkward playing. I learned on a straight mic, but get called to join in with various bands and I never know what mic I'll see until I get up there. I'd suggest going to a music store and try them all out: bullet, condenser, cardiod. Be sure to check up close (like, right on the screen) and back a few inches and back a foot. Some give good control to the player while others can distort or make it so loud the audience winces or so quiet they think you're a mute.
All things being equal, I'd probably just play chromatic harmonica. The first video I posted here was on a CX12...I posted bad chromatic playing so that people would be less likley to realize that I'm a bad diatonic player .
But things aren't equal. I have 3 chromatics: a Super Chromonica 270, a CX12 and a cheapo Swan 1248 for practice. Other than the obvious price difference, I find the chromatics to be physically problematical and maintenance hogs. Despite careful and thorough warming before play (in fact, I'm warming a chromatic right now) the valves on the two Hohners will invariably start to stick after about 20 minutes. It will generally be just on one hole but it's annoying as all heck. Ironically, the bargain basement Swan is the one that almost never sticks. The slide on the 270 use to stick so badly that it developed a stress crack after a year and I had to replace it.
I really love the sound of chromatics...even when played by a hack like me. Unfortunately, using that chromatic is like using my old Triumph convertible. It's an excercise in parts and maintenance.
The diatonics "win" by virtue of simplicity and near indestructibility. In two and a half years of learning the harp I've never had a diatonic suffer any kind of mechanical issue. They don't sound as sweet as chromatics but they are (for me) less frustrating.
Oh Eric, definitely I shall be grateful if I get some tips on chromatic from an experienced chromatic player like you. Basically I am a diatonic player(not Blues). Mostly melodious songs I used to play and have got no authentic training. Recently, I have got a Seydel Saxony(orchestra tuning) Key-C chromatic harp. I can play songs in Key-C & Am easily & in Em & D not very comfortably. Being a solo player and used to play most of my songs in Karaoke(not at the time of regular practice). Now the question: Is it necessary to learn and use to with all/most the keys in chromatic? If not, which keys are necessary to learn and do practice with for melodious songs.
After playing chromatic since last 3/4 months and recorded four songs on it, I think, to keep the flavor & moods of a melodious song, the song should be played in those keys in which flat & sharp notes are in a minimum. Reason:To avoid maximum engagement of our one hand to press the slider button.To play a melodious song, it is necessary to shape the sound/notes with the help of our one hand. Of course this is my personal view and intend your views in this regard. ....Swapan
Hi Swapan, what i can say is that diatonic and blues playing hold no interest for me at all.I prefer to play real melodic music,tunes from the 30s and upwards.I don't know if you feel the same.However i must tell you that i have been playing Chromatic for many years and have built up a repertoire of over 400 tunes.I cannot read music,but i do run a Harmonica club in my home town.If there is any way that i can help you ,don't hesitate to contact me .In the meantime Keep Puffing,Eric33.
Hi Clogger the doll on a stick it wasn't Tom Finney by any chance ,he could dance around the opposition no trouble,LOL .Pele66.
If the letters are A, B, C, D, E, F, G, or maybe one that reads Bb ( B-flat)
they refer to the note played. If you are looking at a chart for say a harmonica
in the key of C, and you look at 3 hole draw, you may notice four notes, B, Bb,
A, and Ab. The first note, B, is the note being played in its natural pitch, the next
note, Bb, is the first half step draw bend in hole 3, the next note, A, is the full step
draw bend in hole 3, at lastly the Ab note, 3 hole's last available note, bent step and a half.
I like the bullet style mic. It doesn't pick up that much peripheral noise and has the volume control built right into it.
It's not for vocals and it doesn't fit into a regular mic stand, so not quite as versatile that way...
I saw a renaissance performer who goes by the name "The Fool Of Moxie" who makes and
sells these dancing puppets. I seem to remember him being based out of Ocala Fl.
I use an Astatic JT30 straight into a TUBE amp, no pedals. If I were to look for pedals
I would go with something compatible with HARMONICA, not guitar. The absolute
best harmonica pedals are from www.lonewolfblues.com check 'em out.